My Time At Dart...(The BBQ Sauce Complaint)

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SVTDriver97's Comment
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Hello everybody! First time poster here....I want to tell you about my time at Dart and to spread the word about what happened...

I am a recent graduate of a trucking school in the Twin Cities and decided I would go out and try to find my first trucking job. I was getting offers left and right, but eventually decided on Dart because of the MN Short-haul they had going at the time. I would be out for 2-3 days, and home for 2-3 days. With 2 kids and a gf, it seemed like the perfect fit.

I graduated in early January, I won't say from what school because from what I last heard through the grapevine...Dart apparently owns part of it, so I don't want to step on any toes there necessarily.

So I was casually looking around for the right fit for me and my family around early February. My recruiter had talked to me and assured me that training would be at their main HQ in Eagan MN. So I put in my 2 weeks at my last job, and was planning on my last day as February 13th. Friday the 13th roles around, it's my last day, and then all of a sudden, my recruiter calls me up and cancels the training at Eagan!!! I was not happy, and I did everything I could from calling her everything under the sun for doing that. She said that they didn't have enough trainers up here, so they had to cancel it. I realized that it probably wasn't her fault, so I didn't go off on her, but still...that should've been sign #1 to run, but I figured i'd stick with it. She then said that we would have to reschedule it and she wasn't sure when that was going to be. She said she would know by next week. Keep in mind that I just put in my 2 weeks, and I was training my replacement at the time, so luckily my manager let me stay an extra week and I was able to make it work.

Next week roles around, and she says that they will be having training at their Dallas facility. She was about to throw me on a Greyhound, but I put a stop to that real quick and said to make sure I fly down. So she booked me a flight down. Flash forward to Sunday when I was supposed to fly down, and all of a sudden my flight is canceled from Houston to Dallas!! So when I call her up and tell her the news...she says, "well, we may have to reschedule your training for another time then". Since I was standing at the gate in the airport, I had to keep my voice down, but it was very hard to because I was so red ass ****ed off at this point. I said, "you do realize I just quit my job for you and this company right?!?". She said she realized it, but she can't help the weather. No, really...I figured you had that magical power?!?

So, after making calls, and trying everything I could to make sure I get down there in time, the lady at the gate was able to get me a flight directly down to Dallas the next day. So I took that.

I get to Dallas, and they're just getting out of some major ice storm they had, which basically shut the whole place down. Once I arrived, I was supposed to call my taxi driver that they use for all their drivers that fly in from out of state. I had told him earlier on what time I would be there, and he was still an hour and a half later than when he was supposed to be there originally. She was telling me how clean he kept his cab, and how what a nice guy he was. She was right about him being nice, but that guy did NOT keep his cab clean, AND he has no concept of throttle control, braking control, or turn signals. Oh...and let's not forget that he was texting while driving in the middle of icy roads and streets. I was all setup to stay at the Clarion hotel, (which he regarded as being a "very nice place"). I don't know if i'm used to nicer places or what, but the Clarion hotel in Lancaster TX is a nasty, nasty place to be. I arrive at the front desk and before I can tell him my name and my reservation number, he's already telling me that they have no more rooms available for the night. I said, "i'm with Dart, i'm supposed to have a room available". He replied, "that's the problem with Dart...they book rooms without even knowing if we have any available". After reasoning with the guy that I was tired and needed a room like I was supposed to have, he finally found me a DBL Queen room, so I took it and crashed.

I'm running out of space on this post so i'll make another one...

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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Best Answer!

You know folks, there are days that I open up this forum and my poor head just wants to explode! This is one of those days.

Eric, you have successfully whined and opined your way into Trucking Truth's history as one of the most embarrassing worst first posts I have ever seen. Folks you hear me talking all the time about how tough it is to get started in this career, and even though poor Eric here doesn't have a clue as to all the obstacles I faced when entering this field, he makes his debut look like a cake walk compared to what most folks go through just to get something started in this business.

Here is someone with a complete entitlement mentality (Oh I know he is going to jump back in here and deny that, but it's too late to erase all the stuff he has already spewed out). I just don't even have the heart to pick apart all the dumb stuff he said, but trust me he has already established himself as one of those types who is convinced he knows way more than the folks who have spent most of their lives in the industry, and it was recognizable to the folks at Dart right off the bat, which is why they got him out of there as quickly as they did.

You can not go to these orientations acting like they owe you something, or that they are not feeding you well enough, or blaming everything you do wrong on the fact that they didn't tell you what was expected of you. There is this simple thing called asking a question before you get yourself in too deep. He keeps playing the blame game and never once did I see him acknowledge that he ever asked them what was expected during this test or what are you looking for as I do this duck walk, or anything like that. He just bumbles his way through it all and then wants to say how sorry they are for not taking better care of him, while his attitude is making it obvious to them that this guy is going to be trouble from day one. And as a Christian, I felt ashamed when he finished it all off by talking about the Lord working in mysterious ways... PLEASE Eric! After all you said you then had to go and play the religion card! I'm flummoxed! I'm not a little aggravated, and I am literally biting my tongue to not go off on you.

Do yourself a big favor and do some research on this site - start with the Truck Driver's Career Guide, and try to get yourself a much better understanding of this whole career choice before you jump in here blasting some innocent company that has a long history of contented drivers.

Eric, I'm gonna be blunt... You made a bad start in trucking, you made an even worse start in this forum, but I believe in redemption. Do a little homework and see if you can get started off on the right foot next time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Great Answer!
All because my back scrapped, i'm a failure. I passed everything else just fine and dandy, but because my back hit, that's it....no job for me.

No bud.....I'll tell you right now exactly what happened because it happens all the time. Dart and the other major carriers that hire students have been around a loooong time. They've seen it all. They realized ten minutes after you showed up you weren't cut out for trucking and this wasn't going anywhere so they found the first legal way they could get rid of you and out the door you went. Man, you haven't done a single thing for them and yet they're offering you an opportunity. So what do you do with it? You griped to anyone and everyone that will listen about every last detail you encountered from the bus ticket to the light sockets to the cab driver. You're rifling off complaints like a machine gun and I'm pretty confident saying this is what you did throughout the entire experience. I can tell you this....if you think anything you came across during that entire experience was trying, you wouldn't have lasted three days on the road because you didn't endure anything in my book. The hotel isn't fancy enough? The BBQ sauce wasn't delicious? The cab driver didn't live up to your expectations?

Listen friend, I'm afraid you're an example of what we're trying to prevent here at TruckingTruth. We don't want the right people going into trucking with the wrong expectations and we don't want the wrong people going in to begin with. Your expectations were that of a King even though in the trucking world you're a lowly peasant. I don't know why you expect the red carpet treatment everywhere you go but it certainly isn't because you've actually accomplished anything worthwhile to earn it. Have you ever heard of paying your dues? Have you ever tried it?

Take this as gospel and first hand of what working for Dart can be like. They monitor your logs religiously, and will definitely chew you out and ream you a new one if you so happen to accidentally mark your pre-trip as 23 seconds long

Odd you would say that since you've never actually worked for them.....

I've said this for years and I'll say it for many more. If you come into trucking with the wrong attitude you're going to get chewed up and spit out in a big hurry. These large carriers that hire inexperienced drivers aren't playing around. If they don't believe in you they'll cut you loose in a heartbeat and won't give it a second thought. They have a business to run and they don't have the time and money to waste on people they know have very little chance of finding happiness or success in this industry.

- be humble

- listen and learn

- do what's asked of you

- expect to get the rookie treatment

- don't judge much of anything until you've been in the industry long enough to know what you're talking about

Erik, almost anyone can make it as a truck driver but only a small percentage of people that give it a shot last very long. Why? Because they come into it with the wrong attitude and expectations. I don't know you but I'd be willing to bet 1000 to 1 that you're certainly capable of making it as a truck driver. If you set your mind to it and approached it as if your life depended on it I'll bet in no time you'd be out there makin it happen. But you didn't approach it that way. You approached it as if you were the proven veteran calling all the shots. You approached it like everyone owes you something special. You approached it like it didn't matter that much to you.

Obviously you know now it's going to take a much different approach. Hopefully you'll change your attitude and expectations and give it a shot somewhere else. But go into it with the same approach you took this time and you'll get the same results. I've watched it happen for years. It's nothing new.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

SVTDriver97's Comment
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Great Answer!

Maybe you guys took my post incorrectly, and you're right, I will come back and defend that I don't have an entitlement mentality. That would be the generation or two after mine actually.

The way I look at it here...I am very appreciative that Dart even took the time to fly me down there. I'm amazed actually because from what I heard from a few of the other guys down there, they had to spend up to 2 days on a Greyhound to get there, and that ain't no picnic. Then here I come, and I get to FLY down there. It's VERY nice that they did that actually. I had it easy from the start. I'm not denying that, nor did I complain about it. Merely mentioning that my flight was canceled, which is still a PITA because my ride had to come back to the airport, then I had to find another ride to the airport the next day. Again...a little bit of an inconvenience, but not the worst it could ever be, and just because I didn't mention it in my original posts...doesn't mean i'm not appreciative of it either.

When I wrote my posts, I wanted to get it all out before I forgot anything, and looking back I can see how you guys could take it the wrong way. It can be taken as whiny, but please don't.

I fail to see how I came out thinking that I "know everything there is to know about trucking", or had any other kind of entitlement attitude? You must realize that I've spent the last several years in a white collar job. My last blue collar job was over 10 years ago, so I wasn't expecting to stay at the Hilton when I got to Dallas, I also wasn't expecting to be stepping on pubes in my room either, so I hope you can see what i'm trying to say here. I would rather sleep in a dirty bunk in a truck than be stepping on someone else's pubes in my room personally.

The folks at Dart didn't realize my attitude and didn't "get me outta there" as soon as they could, because I kept my trap shut and listened to what was going on. I didn't have any kind of attitude. I was a sponge, and didn't say a peep to any of the managers or directors while I was there. Trust me, I asked plenty of questions to my recruiter before I got down there. I never even knew there was this PCT test, because my recruiter never mentioned it. Nothing. Nada. Zip, Zilch. I asked about the physical and what was all involved, and all she told me was that there was a pee test, blood pressure test and that's it. All she did was give me instructions on what to do when I get to town. Not sure if posting what is said in the email is the correct thing to do in this case, then again....I simply wanted to tell everyone what happened on my very first experience with a major carrier, and if you want to go ahead and add my story to wall of morons or whatever, go ahead, it couldn't bother me any less. I really don't care what you have to say here either, and it's not a matter of me being scared to defend myself Old School. People will have their opinions about me throughout life and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't change your opinion about me as you read this either. I have however spent enough time on the ol' internets here to know not to get into some sort of childish pathetic insult match with someone I don't know on the internet. I thought this forum was supposed to help support drivers, both new and old?? Just because I come out here complaining about not being paid for my training due to some BS corporate technicality, or wasting 4 days of my life when I could've been actually driving for another company...all of a sudden I write the dumbest post in history?? Sorry, but your take on all of this is way off in left field here. I do appreciate your diatribe on me ending on a high note at least, but in the end I really don't care what you have to say either.

I didn't rifle off any complaints while I was down there, but the majority of the rest of my class did. I went into this whole thing humble and meek, and i'll do it again for the next job.

I mentioned the 23 second flub on a log because that's what the Safety Director told us. She crawled up and down this driver that made that mistake. I'm not sure how he could've....maybe his finger slipped? I don't know. But the fact is that she had to bring it up. Knowing me and my sausage fingers, I could see something like that happening to me at least once as well. I take my performance on jobs very seriously, and doing something like that and then being, as she put it, "reamed for it", it would upset me. But that's in the past.

"The cab driver didn't live up to your expectations?" Ya know Brett, you're right, i'm wrong to think texting while driving during an ice storm is a bad thing. What a moron I am.

I had the wrong idea about this site, so I won't be posting here again. I already belong to one forum as it is, and it's hard enough to find time to keep up with both. Especially when I come out here telling everyone what my experience was like and get nothing but flak from it, so you guys can keep it.

Keep on truckin'!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bud A.'s Comment
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Great Answer!

OK, I feel compelled to jump in now. Let's take the complaints as a whole. What do they amount to? Eric didn't get what he expected, from having to rearrange his training to a scary cab ride to bad BBQ sauce and a dirty floor in his room. How much was he out of pocket for all of this? Nothing except a theoretical four days of work (which, by the way, wasn't work -- it was vetting for a potential job...vetting that he didn't pass).

The rest of his complaints are just that: complaints. Did the recruiter lie to him? Maybe, but without being able to ask the recruiter, we'll never know. Cross-examination resulted in a profession by the accuser of his pure motives and an assertion that he did everything right, but based on the tone of his accusations and his subsequent statement that he's not going to participate any more, this isn't credible without some corroboration... at least not to me.

It's easy to post something like this and accuse a company of being too awful to work for, but it's hard to admit the one salient fact that was reason enough for them to send him home: he couldn't pass their test.

Guess what? If you pass the pretrip and backing but fail the road test, you don't get a CDL. If you pass the background and **** test and all but one portion of the physical test, you fail, at least at this company.

It doesn't matter if you fail the road test because you shifted gears on a turn even though truckers in real life do it every day. Those are the rules of the test. And duck walking without scraping your back or losing your balance is what Dart requires.

(I admit I laughed when Eric said he get on his hands and knees to inspect the trailer, even in mud. The heck he would!)

The comments about O/Os and lease ops not having to take the test being unfair are ridiculous, since Eric wasn't applying on that basis. Not everyone is treated equal, and in this case for a good business reason: the company isn't paying the insurance for those other guys, but they would be for Eric.

And frankly most of the other complaints are ridiculous as well. The food sounds pretty good, actually, and would to Eric too, after he's eaten a few dozen roller dogs from the truck stop because there's no time for anything else sometimes. A few pubes on the floor? What the heck are you going to do when the only viable options are a nasty port a pot at a shipper on a hot July day in Laredo, or a clandestine arrangement behind the sleeper curtains with a bucket and a bag?

This is not sanctimoniousness, this is just some folks calling a guy out for excessive whining. If he can't handle it, trucking probably isn't the job for him, because frankly what he got here is a lot gentler than what he'd get at any warehouse in the country. ("Oh, you'd like to register a complaint about our 'restroom facilities'? Ok, vato, here's the form to fill out. We'll load you when you return it. What? No, I don't have a pen. Now go back to your truck and remain there until we call you.")

So he didn't pass, his hopes were crushed, he missed out on some pay...and they flew his sorry ass home!? Many if not most companies would have told him to find his own way home.

He's going to have a tough time making it is this business if he doesn't change his attitude and grow a thicker skin. This isn't foosball in the Google coffee lounge. It's trucking. Some people like the idea of it, but this little taste of the reality of it was too much for him, and when the old heads around here tried to gently explain that, he picked up his marbles and went elsewhere. I hope he gets it and become a happy and well-paid driver, but I'm not holding my breath.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Indy's Comment
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Dart is advertising "home daily" jobs in my area... I'm interested in hearing the rest of your story...

SVTDriver97's Comment
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I had called my recruiter that night at about 9:45 to tell her that I didn't have a room and needed to know what to do from there. She called me back at 5:15 the next morning. I told her what the front desk guy said and then she started in on the blame game..."the Clarion hotel sells our rooms to other people, so they shouldn't have done that". (i'll hint more on this later about how she likes to play the blame game)

After my first night there, the ice had pretty much slowed everything to a crawl down there. Buses were running way behind, cops were busy with everyone else, it was like the apocalypse down there. Being from MN, a little ice never scared me, but whatever. We were about 45 minutes late by the time the shuttle delivered us to the facility. Get in, fill out our paperwork and go over basic paperwork that would normally be expected. Now is the time where I want to mention that my recruiter mentioned that while at their facility, we would be "fed like kings". I'd really like to see what kingdom she's thinking about, because that would be a very depressing kingdom!! I got roasted chicken, a slice of Texas toast, and some nasty BBQ sauce. After we were fed, we finished off the day with a basic physical and drug test in this tiny little shack they built at their facility. I passed everything with flying colors no problem. We sat around and waited for the shuttle to show up that night, and it was about 2 hours after we called by the time they would show up. I had left on foot because the hotel was probably 3-5 miles away from the facility, and figured i'd get some exercise in. I met the shuttle 3/4 of the way, and figured i'd ride with back to Dart to pick up the rest of my class.

Day 2 rolls around, this time we leave close to on time, get to Dart, and now it's mainly safety videos and procedures. Afterwards, we were told we had to take the PCT (Physical Competency Test)...which I had no idea I had to take. My recruiter did not tell me I had to take this test. I didn't think much of it. It consists of carrying a milk crate with two 25 pound weights in it back and fourth 6 times to simulate walking the length of a tractor and trailer, and they measure your heart rate, then you simulate climbing in and out of the truck, climbing up and down on what would be the trailer, pushing and pulling and finally the "duck walk". This was all done on something they built that you can clearly tell they spent a LOT of money on rofl-3.gif :

simulated cab at trucking school for the <span class= DOT physical" title="simulated cab at trucking school for the DOT physical">

The nurse who was administering this test did not fill me in on what was expected of me, and keep in mind that we only had 2 attempts. I had passed everything up to this point just fine. My first time, I duck walked underneath, lost my balance and had to put my hand down to regain balance. "That's a fail, get out and do it again" she said. The 2nd time went perfectly, except my back scraped the bar, which then she said, "you failed, i'm sorry, send in the next person".

Now, I was a little confused by all of this, just because my back scraped, I failed? Even those I completed it perfectly fine otherwise? Ok so now what?

Well, I went back inside, had my "lunch of kings"...this time it was slices of turkey, Texas toast again and the same nasty BBQ sauce. Sitting around, waiting, waiting and waiting. I had a buddy of mine in there as well, and his back scraped as well. He asked what I thought was going to happen, to which I replied, "I bet they'll now send us home, because of some stupid ass BS corporate insurance mumbo jumbo". Some lady came walking in looking for someone, and I asked if she knew my recruiter, she said she did, and I asked if she would send her in. She came walking in a bit later, and I asked her what all this meant, she replied, "I'm not sure, that's not my department, you'll have to talk to safety on that"...(more blame game crap here...) I then mentioned that she did not send me anything about this in my paperwork or emails from earlier. She replied she did, and I enforced that she did not. Then she continued to get a little snippy with me and assured me that she did. I still have all the emails saved that she sent to me, and it is NOT on there.

Next post....

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
SVTDriver97's Comment
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So after I told her that I had failed this PCT test, she left. Few minutes later, they call me and my buddy into their office where the nurse was there. Then they proceeded to say that because we didn't pass the test, they would now be sending us home. My buddy FLIPPED out on the lady, and eventually had to throw his hands up and walk out before it got too ugly.

Now, keep in mind here guys, that this was for their ADU program. I think it stands for Advanced Dart University. Which covers the local programs like the MN Short-haul and other Short-haul positions across the country. Also take note that the word "University" is in there...i'll get to that part in a second. Keeping in mind that we're part of this program...we're not part of the leasing/owner operator program they have as well. The owner operators/leasers don't have to take the physical.

Yes you read that right....they do NOT have to take any physical whatsoever!!!

They have their own insurance, their own truck....all that, and they still don't have to take the physical test. You could be 500 lbs, barely able to turn the wheel around your gut, with bacon grease dripping down your many chins, all while being an inch away from a fatal heart attack while driving a 80,000 lb moving death machine with their name on both your truck AND the trailer, and they're fine with that. But oh no...the second I can't "duck walk" under a trailer, i'm grossly unqualified to work for them. They said, "the owner operators/leasers work for Dart Co, which is different part of the company". Well gee whiz skippy, regardless if they work for a different part of Dart...doesn't mean that they don't have YOUR COMPANY'S NAME ON THE SIDE OF THEIR TRUCK AND TRAILER, NOW DOES IT?!?!?!?! If they cause an accident, no one is going to know OR care if they work for a different part of Dart, they're going to see that name on there and put 2 and 2 together. Am I right?!?

I tried to reason with them and TRIED to work some common sense out of them, but because it's a 'corporate policy', there was "nothing they could do for me". I brought up the fact that just because my back scraped the 2nd time, didn't mean I couldn't do the job I was being hired for. Which is true. I'm not a trucker yet, and i'm still a newb here, but if i'm going to be doing my pre/post trip inspection on my trailer, i'm going to get down on my hands and knees to make sure I can have my balance, and be able to properly examine the brakes, hoses, air bags, etc....without trying to steady myself while being crouched. Maybe i'm the weirdo here, but that's how I would do it personally. I wouldn't care if the ground is wet or dirty, this is trucking and you can't keep a clean appearance 100% of the time.

So, while I was trying to reason with them, my recruiter steps in behind these people i'm arguing with, with a folded piece of paper. It's my travel arrangements. She had them printed up and made before I was even done saying "but but but" to them. Ok? Whatever happened to, "i'm not sure, you'll have to talk to safety on that one" crap?!? I guess you sure DO know what's going to happen, especially since while i'm being told i'm not qualified for the job, you have my travel arrangements already printed up....

So anyway, I grab my stuff, and long story short, make it back to the hotel and eventually fly home.

Now I want to bring up this ADU thing. They mentioned that it was some sort of "Dart university" program that we were involved in. Here's what I think is going on here...[edited out by Brett Aquila as speculation. We're not going to spread conspiracy theories here. Present facts and we'll reconsider]

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Indy's Comment
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This is not going the direction I was hoping... So far, I haven't read anything much worth complaining about.

Indy's Comment
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...That was before reading the last post... sorry...

SVTDriver97's Comment
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Also, to add the final cherry on the cake.........

I asked my recruiter when I would be paid for my training time. She said that since I didn't "fully complete" the physical portion of the training, I would not be paid for my time.

Again...yes....you read that right, I would NOT be paid for the 4 days I spent trying to get hired with these guys. All because my back scrapped, i'm a failure. I passed everything else just fine and dandy, but because my back hit, that's it....no job for me.

They told us we would be paid a whopping $7.25/hr, or $60/day, so I SHOULD be getting paid $240, but apparently not.

I am filing a dispute with the Texas Workforce Commission to make sure not only myself, but also my buddy, and anyone else who may get burned by these guys.

The training is laughable, the recruiters LIE, and LIE lower than snakes. The meals are NOT what they say they will be. If you saw the state of the carpet in my hotel room, you wouldn't even want to wear boots on it, it was so disgusting. My outlet next to my bed was missing the cover, so while trying to plug in your phone charger, you could easily electrocute yourself. Multiple bulbs were burnt out, and the toilet constantly ran in my room.

Take this as gospel and first hand of what working for Dart can be like. They monitor your logs religiously, and will definitely chew you out and ream you a new one if you so happen to accidentally mark your pre-trip as 23 seconds long. Or other log events that raise any red flags. Now don't get me wrong here...I know that watching what us truckers are doing can be important to making sure you don't go through any problems with DOT. Ok...I get that. But I also know that sometimes mistakes can happen, and from what I could tell from their safety director, she will be up your ass constantly if you just so happen to mess up.

Speaking as a recent grad, we're bound to make mistakes, and I personally take some of this stuff to heart, so I can tell that Dart and I would not have gotten along very well in the long run. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and there's a reason I was not meant to be with them. All I have to do is simply trust in him and move on down the road to the next opportunity that presents itself.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
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Best Answer!

You know folks, there are days that I open up this forum and my poor head just wants to explode! This is one of those days.

Eric, you have successfully whined and opined your way into Trucking Truth's history as one of the most embarrassing worst first posts I have ever seen. Folks you hear me talking all the time about how tough it is to get started in this career, and even though poor Eric here doesn't have a clue as to all the obstacles I faced when entering this field, he makes his debut look like a cake walk compared to what most folks go through just to get something started in this business.

Here is someone with a complete entitlement mentality (Oh I know he is going to jump back in here and deny that, but it's too late to erase all the stuff he has already spewed out). I just don't even have the heart to pick apart all the dumb stuff he said, but trust me he has already established himself as one of those types who is convinced he knows way more than the folks who have spent most of their lives in the industry, and it was recognizable to the folks at Dart right off the bat, which is why they got him out of there as quickly as they did.

You can not go to these orientations acting like they owe you something, or that they are not feeding you well enough, or blaming everything you do wrong on the fact that they didn't tell you what was expected of you. There is this simple thing called asking a question before you get yourself in too deep. He keeps playing the blame game and never once did I see him acknowledge that he ever asked them what was expected during this test or what are you looking for as I do this duck walk, or anything like that. He just bumbles his way through it all and then wants to say how sorry they are for not taking better care of him, while his attitude is making it obvious to them that this guy is going to be trouble from day one. And as a Christian, I felt ashamed when he finished it all off by talking about the Lord working in mysterious ways... PLEASE Eric! After all you said you then had to go and play the religion card! I'm flummoxed! I'm not a little aggravated, and I am literally biting my tongue to not go off on you.

Do yourself a big favor and do some research on this site - start with the Truck Driver's Career Guide, and try to get yourself a much better understanding of this whole career choice before you jump in here blasting some innocent company that has a long history of contented drivers.

Eric, I'm gonna be blunt... You made a bad start in trucking, you made an even worse start in this forum, but I believe in redemption. Do a little homework and see if you can get started off on the right foot next time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
All because my back scrapped, i'm a failure. I passed everything else just fine and dandy, but because my back hit, that's it....no job for me.

No bud.....I'll tell you right now exactly what happened because it happens all the time. Dart and the other major carriers that hire students have been around a loooong time. They've seen it all. They realized ten minutes after you showed up you weren't cut out for trucking and this wasn't going anywhere so they found the first legal way they could get rid of you and out the door you went. Man, you haven't done a single thing for them and yet they're offering you an opportunity. So what do you do with it? You griped to anyone and everyone that will listen about every last detail you encountered from the bus ticket to the light sockets to the cab driver. You're rifling off complaints like a machine gun and I'm pretty confident saying this is what you did throughout the entire experience. I can tell you this....if you think anything you came across during that entire experience was trying, you wouldn't have lasted three days on the road because you didn't endure anything in my book. The hotel isn't fancy enough? The BBQ sauce wasn't delicious? The cab driver didn't live up to your expectations?

Listen friend, I'm afraid you're an example of what we're trying to prevent here at TruckingTruth. We don't want the right people going into trucking with the wrong expectations and we don't want the wrong people going in to begin with. Your expectations were that of a King even though in the trucking world you're a lowly peasant. I don't know why you expect the red carpet treatment everywhere you go but it certainly isn't because you've actually accomplished anything worthwhile to earn it. Have you ever heard of paying your dues? Have you ever tried it?

Take this as gospel and first hand of what working for Dart can be like. They monitor your logs religiously, and will definitely chew you out and ream you a new one if you so happen to accidentally mark your pre-trip as 23 seconds long

Odd you would say that since you've never actually worked for them.....

I've said this for years and I'll say it for many more. If you come into trucking with the wrong attitude you're going to get chewed up and spit out in a big hurry. These large carriers that hire inexperienced drivers aren't playing around. If they don't believe in you they'll cut you loose in a heartbeat and won't give it a second thought. They have a business to run and they don't have the time and money to waste on people they know have very little chance of finding happiness or success in this industry.

- be humble

- listen and learn

- do what's asked of you

- expect to get the rookie treatment

- don't judge much of anything until you've been in the industry long enough to know what you're talking about

Erik, almost anyone can make it as a truck driver but only a small percentage of people that give it a shot last very long. Why? Because they come into it with the wrong attitude and expectations. I don't know you but I'd be willing to bet 1000 to 1 that you're certainly capable of making it as a truck driver. If you set your mind to it and approached it as if your life depended on it I'll bet in no time you'd be out there makin it happen. But you didn't approach it that way. You approached it as if you were the proven veteran calling all the shots. You approached it like everyone owes you something special. You approached it like it didn't matter that much to you.

Obviously you know now it's going to take a much different approach. Hopefully you'll change your attitude and expectations and give it a shot somewhere else. But go into it with the same approach you took this time and you'll get the same results. I've watched it happen for years. It's nothing new.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

SVTDriver97's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Maybe you guys took my post incorrectly, and you're right, I will come back and defend that I don't have an entitlement mentality. That would be the generation or two after mine actually.

The way I look at it here...I am very appreciative that Dart even took the time to fly me down there. I'm amazed actually because from what I heard from a few of the other guys down there, they had to spend up to 2 days on a Greyhound to get there, and that ain't no picnic. Then here I come, and I get to FLY down there. It's VERY nice that they did that actually. I had it easy from the start. I'm not denying that, nor did I complain about it. Merely mentioning that my flight was canceled, which is still a PITA because my ride had to come back to the airport, then I had to find another ride to the airport the next day. Again...a little bit of an inconvenience, but not the worst it could ever be, and just because I didn't mention it in my original posts...doesn't mean i'm not appreciative of it either.

When I wrote my posts, I wanted to get it all out before I forgot anything, and looking back I can see how you guys could take it the wrong way. It can be taken as whiny, but please don't.

I fail to see how I came out thinking that I "know everything there is to know about trucking", or had any other kind of entitlement attitude? You must realize that I've spent the last several years in a white collar job. My last blue collar job was over 10 years ago, so I wasn't expecting to stay at the Hilton when I got to Dallas, I also wasn't expecting to be stepping on pubes in my room either, so I hope you can see what i'm trying to say here. I would rather sleep in a dirty bunk in a truck than be stepping on someone else's pubes in my room personally.

The folks at Dart didn't realize my attitude and didn't "get me outta there" as soon as they could, because I kept my trap shut and listened to what was going on. I didn't have any kind of attitude. I was a sponge, and didn't say a peep to any of the managers or directors while I was there. Trust me, I asked plenty of questions to my recruiter before I got down there. I never even knew there was this PCT test, because my recruiter never mentioned it. Nothing. Nada. Zip, Zilch. I asked about the physical and what was all involved, and all she told me was that there was a pee test, blood pressure test and that's it. All she did was give me instructions on what to do when I get to town. Not sure if posting what is said in the email is the correct thing to do in this case, then again....I simply wanted to tell everyone what happened on my very first experience with a major carrier, and if you want to go ahead and add my story to wall of morons or whatever, go ahead, it couldn't bother me any less. I really don't care what you have to say here either, and it's not a matter of me being scared to defend myself Old School. People will have their opinions about me throughout life and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't change your opinion about me as you read this either. I have however spent enough time on the ol' internets here to know not to get into some sort of childish pathetic insult match with someone I don't know on the internet. I thought this forum was supposed to help support drivers, both new and old?? Just because I come out here complaining about not being paid for my training due to some BS corporate technicality, or wasting 4 days of my life when I could've been actually driving for another company...all of a sudden I write the dumbest post in history?? Sorry, but your take on all of this is way off in left field here. I do appreciate your diatribe on me ending on a high note at least, but in the end I really don't care what you have to say either.

I didn't rifle off any complaints while I was down there, but the majority of the rest of my class did. I went into this whole thing humble and meek, and i'll do it again for the next job.

I mentioned the 23 second flub on a log because that's what the Safety Director told us. She crawled up and down this driver that made that mistake. I'm not sure how he could've....maybe his finger slipped? I don't know. But the fact is that she had to bring it up. Knowing me and my sausage fingers, I could see something like that happening to me at least once as well. I take my performance on jobs very seriously, and doing something like that and then being, as she put it, "reamed for it", it would upset me. But that's in the past.

"The cab driver didn't live up to your expectations?" Ya know Brett, you're right, i'm wrong to think texting while driving during an ice storm is a bad thing. What a moron I am.

I had the wrong idea about this site, so I won't be posting here again. I already belong to one forum as it is, and it's hard enough to find time to keep up with both. Especially when I come out here telling everyone what my experience was like and get nothing but flak from it, so you guys can keep it.

Keep on truckin'!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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